It’s been a poignant, powerful week for me. Tonight, David Letterman bids farewell from his TV talk show after 33 years. I’ve watched him semi-religiously, my attention serving as a metaphor for whatever commitments I had in my life at the time. Over the last 10 years, Dave and I both just weren’t as committed. But Dave was an inspiration to me when he started—a normal-looking, hysterical guy who this high-schooler thought was the coolest guy ever. Whether it was Stupid Pet Tricks, Top Ten Lists, or remotes working the Taco Bell drive-thru, Dave’s performances were genius. I can remember staying up past midnight as a senior in high school, feeling like I was breaking the rules, just to laugh with Dave and his guest—hopefully one of the newer comedians like Jay Leno or Jerry Seinfeld.
Dave hasn’t been perfect, personally or professionally—far from it. But he has persevered. The recollections over the last couple weeks from those closest to him have brought a new shine to Letterman’s career. Until lately it seemed time had passed him by. But whether it was 9/11, bypass surgery, or an inappropriate scandal, Dave always bounced back.
It’s nice when we get to write our own story. Too few of us get that chance. A line from one of Dave’s favorite bands (and mine)—Foo Fighters—sums it up quite nicely:
“It’s times like these, we learn to live again.”
Here’s to writing your own story. Thanks Dave.